(Editor's note: this is my version of what happened next in BJ's story about Mary and Pete. To read the first chapter please visit her blog: http://dontoverthinkit.blogspot.com/ and scroll to "Gettin' the Hell Out of Dodge".)
Mary and Pete had never laid eyes on each other until today, but theirs was a powerful love, bound by bookends of loss and hope and the inner sanctum of an on-line chat room. Like an arranged marriage, their paths were pre-destined by forces beyond their control, lifted up by the wings of change and borne of a mutual love for ludafisk.
Finally ready to start over after the tragic loss of his beloved wife (although she was by no means forgiven; how can you forgive someone who chooses their own exit strategy?) Pete found himself in the strange, subterranean world of internet dating. Maybe it was the challenge of meeting people in person that was stopping him from trying the conventional dating scene. Chat rooms afforded him the chance to edit his words before speaking them and prevented anyone who read them from hearing the lingering pain in his voice. Without much hope but now at least ready to look once again for love, Pete whipped out his Presto Charge and plunged head first into the "Love Lines" Chat Room.
Mary had resigned herself to staying in an unhappy marriage, remaining forever a stranger to love. Quietly humming “Is That All There Is” as she folded the laundry each day, Mary felt closer to Peggy Lee than to her own husband. She and Peggy were soul mates, or so she thought. Then one day, while surfing the web, Mary Googled "chat rooms" and decided she had nothing left to loose but the pain she felt in her heart. And maybe 35 pounds.
The day that Pete and Mary finally met in person, he was standing next to his car with the passenger door open, waiting for her and her faithful, if somewhat confused dog, Charlie. Their journey was just beginning but to both of them, they felt as though they had already spent a lifetime together. The interstate was calling their names as Pete dropped the top on the convertible, gunned the engine and slid the car into Drive. With every Dairy Queen and Motel 8 for the next 7 states carefully noted on his map, Pete felt a confidence and excitement in the future he had not known for years. As he pulled Mary closer to him, she, too smiled and thanked her lucky stars. Her bags were packed, Charlie was safely in the back seat and her beehive was freshly washed and nailed down with a gallon of Aqua-Net. Her hair wasn't going anywhere, but she and Pete were.
To be continued…